Tag Archives: birthday

15 years in Kazakhstan!

Selem folks!

I’ve still plenty more to tell and show you about our Kurils-2019 expedition, and also about my recent trip to Mongolia and its Gobi Desert, but in the meantime I’ve been visiting yet further countries less-visited – including… Kazakhstan! Now, I know I’m behind on my Kuril-and-Gobi catch-up, but I don’t want that tardiness to cross over into other trips. Accordingly, herewith, a brief side excursion – to Almaty!

I was in Kazakhstan’s largest city to celebrate a jubilee – the 15th anniversary of our presence in the region, and that covers the whole of Central Asia, including Mongolia!

(The photos are official ones – taken by a professional photographer)

First there was the day’s work, which was non-stop: press conference, Q&A, presentations for partners and clients, and preparations for the evening’s celebrations.

Next – the evening’s celebrations!…

Which were just how we liKe them: fun, friendly, singing-and-dancing, and with assorted attractions.

The boss down there – Evgeny Pitolin. Been with us at K now, oooh – lost count: many, many years ).

Crikey! Now that’s some birthday cake!

So… how do you go about cutting that. Where do you start?! Such a shame to destroy it!

Ok, here goes!…

Time to party – and rock!

(Of late – over the last few years, I mean – we’ve had quite a few local-office anniversaries: Italy, Poland, Spain, but I digress).

So, 15 years in Kazakhstan, eh? Now, if it were, say, five years in Kazakhstan, I’d no doubt dig up blogposts, FB posts, Instagrams and the like from five years ago for a little nostalgic retrospective from back when the office was founded. However, 15 years ago – no blogs, no FB, no Insta – not even our Fan Club! So let me give you a roundup of the status of K back then – manually, as it were…

️ 2004-1: our antivirus engine – yes, it was the best in the world (really; and it’s stayed the best:);

️ 2004-2: Sure, the Anti-Virus with my surname on it – it was a little wonky; this is where the ‘Kaspersky slows things down too much’ thing came from; however, that’s long since a thing of the past;

️ 2004-3: We made some timid, uncertain steps toward making a for-business product. Our competitors laughed – hard. But those were important first baby steps. Fast-forward to today and no one’s laughing anymore – we’re ahead of everyone );

️ 2004-main things: (i) it was this year when, due to performance issues, we turned our whole approach to antivirus upside-down – including a complete overhaul of our engine; (ii) it was from around this year when we started expanding our presence across the whole world.

In 2004, besides Kazakhstan, we opened rep offices in the U.S., France, Germany and Japan, and a subsidiary in China. Later, after a brief breather – we were at it again and soon had offices everywhere.

Other figures from 2004:

✔️ Earnings = US$27m;

✔️ 380 employees.

15 years later we were earning 25 times more and employing 11 times more staff. Our product range also went through the roof ). Plus: assorted services, education, this, that, universities, schools, Security Analyst Summit (SAS). And the icing on the cake: KasperskyOS and secure online voting using blockchain.

How we’ve come on in 15 years!

Ok – back to Kazakhstan after that nostalgic digression…

After the work – and the play – it was time for a spot of tourism. So off we popped to Big Almaty Lake, naturally ).

Unfortunately you can’t swim in the lake; if you do you can end up in prison, apparently! Shame!

What a beauty!

Next – over to Shymbulak. I remember it from decades ago. But there were no glass bottoms back then like there are now…

No snow! So it was a quick up and down, then back to Almaty. Next day it was back to Moscow. And from the plane:

That’s all for today folks!

Birthday number 22.

This year we celebrated the company’s 22nd birthday a little earlier than usual (but closer to the official birthday – see here for a brief history lesson). It was earlier because the road beckoned me once again to a very interesting place. But more on that later.

Here and just about everywhere further down, the photos are courtesy of Roman Rudakov.

We worked well over the year (for example, we earned $726 million (+4% on 2017), were number 1 in tests for protection and speed, were twice named as the best cybersecurity solution by Gartner Peer Insights) -> so we pushed the boat out for our birthday, because, well, those who are good at their work are good at everything else they do too :)

Read on…

Flickr photostream

Instagram photostream

KL comes of age.

21 years old – this used to be (and in some religions/countries still is) the age when a young person became an adult – aka came of age. A real ‘milestone’ as it were – a biggie; a special birthday, a jubilee…

Well guess who turned from being a minor into an adult just the other day?…

You guessed right: KL!

And a KL b-day – as probably everyone knows by now – means it’s time to party: with a capital ‘P’. All we needed was good weather to allow the party to really rock. Well this year we were in luck:

A monster b-day blowout, in addition to the good weather also needs a monster venue. Check!

What else is needed? I could list the ingredients; showing you the pics thereof is a lot more satisfying:

Read on: 50 inflatable unicorns…

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52++.

Hi folks!

What is 52?

EK52 = the Munich-Dubai flight on Emirates
52=4*13=2*2*13
B-52 – the name of a shot-cocktail I love (not keen on the band; not keen on the bomber either)

Also:

Today’s my birthday! Oh my word, how time flies!…

It was nature that first wished me a happy birthday this year. For this is what it had in store for me when I opened the curtains:

Read on: Oh my gorgeous!…

Then and Now. 20 Years In-between – All Uphill.

20 years in business – is that a long time, or no time at all? Or how about 25 years of continuous development of new technologies and products (including the five years pre-KL)?

To answer that properly we need to ask how old the industry – cybersecurity – is itself. Well, the very first antivirus programs appeared just a few years before 25 years ago.

So that means we’re one of a handful of developers that created cybersecurity! Indeed, we’ve been in the industry since its infancy (when on-demand signature scanners were all the rage), and are still here today (in the new age of big data and machine learning). And that’s 20+ years in the cutting-edge avant garde. Oh yes. And no: modesty isn’t forbidding – it’s our birthday, after all :).

More immodesty: just think of all the cyber-nastiness we’ve been destroying in all those 20 years!

Of course, there’s never just one way of interpreting history. And Kaspersky Lab’s history is no exception.

On the one hand, we could look at old pics from our halcyon days of 20 years ago, recall the naive mistakes and missteps we made with a cringe, then also look in the mirror at our graying hair and deepening lines on our faces and get all melancholic! Sure – that’s possible…

But on the other hand – looking at the very same pics of those halcyon days of 20 years ago – we could simply smile instead, and say something like: ‘Not a bad first two decades, but we’re only just warming up!’ It’s all just perception: you gonna concentrate on the problems and difficulties, or the successes and achievements? Well, no prizes for guessing which perception we’re going for in this here post; yep the latter: ’cause that’s how we do it KL – we stay positive. In this business – you have to! And we hope we’ll inspire you, dear readers, to do the same.

Everything changed in 20 years? Actually – not quite. At least one thing hasn’t: work hard and think big

So, in the run-up to KL’s birthday, we had a long hard think about how we could most graphically and strongly arouse inspiration, while keeping true to historical faithfulness (and observing norms of decency:). And this is what we came up with: let’s have a quick look at some of the more curious and fun aspects of the company over the years – how it was in the ‘good old days’, how it looks now, and how it’ll be in the future.

I’ll start with the office.

If we go right back to the beginning – the early 1990s, we’ve moved offices a whopping six times!

Here, for example, is what the epicenter of development of one of the best antiviruses in the world looked like in 1994. That was our whole office! Ok, so registering as ‘Me Lab’ came three years later, but still – it was our office. It was actually part of the KAMI company, which produced software and hardware solutions in the 90s.

Btw, it was in this year (1994) that we took part in Hamburg University‘s AV tests for the first time – and unexpectedly won (by a mile) on quality of protection. In the pic above I think the smiles were breaking through the exhaustion after hearing about our win.

Read on: Think big and have a toast!…

Happy Birthday to Us – 20 Years Old – to the Day!

Whoosh!

What was that?

That, boys and girls, was the history of cybersecurity passing by!

28 years ago, somewhere around the fall of 1989, my Olivetti M24 was attacked by a virus. That fateful event changed my – and many others’! – lives. If only that virus had known precisely whose comp it attacked that day, and how many malicious descendants would be wiped out over the next decades both by my hand and later by the hands of KLers, I’m pretty sure it’d have about-turned in a jiffy and gotten the hell out of there!

26 years ago, in the summer of 1991, a group of like-minded computer geeks enthusiasts launched the great grandfather of what is today one of the top antiviruses in the world.

Precisely 20 years ago today – on June 26, 1997 – ‘Me Lab‘ was founded.

But it’s fairly quiet in the office today. No party, no champagne, no nothing. On our 20th birthday? Don’t worry – we’ll get to that. We’ll be celebrating, in usual crazy fashion, but just a little later. Today it’s business as usual. All the same, tonight – NOW!, if you’d raise a glass of something tasty and utter a few kind words, please do. You will be repaid in good vibes and positive karma or some such – for sure!

Whoah – we just received congrats from Scuderia. Grazie mille! (the photos arrived with a note: ‘Kimi is smiling!’ Well, so are we:).

The icing on the cake birthday cake:

Now back to those drinkies :)…

 

Little 19.

Friday, July 15 in Moscow was one of the best days weather-wise of 2016 so far – all day sunny, a light breeze, and zero rain. But of course; the gods knew: it was the day of KL’s all-day 19th birthday celebrations, where 2000+ KLers from all over the planet congregated to party!

It’s a bit weird when you celebrate a company’s ‘birthday’. You find yourself hearing the following refrain repeatedly throughout the day when colleagues meet one another:

“Hey. Happy Birthday!”

“And Happy Birthday to you too!”

birthday_1

To be honest, I never thought we’d one day become so… grown up!

I really didn’t! Back in the late 90s we registered the company (KL, for those dozing at the back) to be able to better realize our super special expertise! We weren’t thinking too far ahead; you tend not to when you’re starting out: you’re doing all you can just to survive. So if a fortune teller back in 1997 would have told me that in 2016 we’d be going stronger than ever and having our 19th b-day bash attended by more than 2000 KLers, I’d simply not have believed her!

Read on: meanwhile, the people …

Unexpectedly I am 49!

It might have come exactly on schedule, but my 49th birthday was still something of a surprise.

After all, it’s quite a date … and it inspired some feelings of awe and bewilderment. Does it really mean I’m going to be 50 next? Wow! I guess I should start preparing for that. It’s a good round number, but given my profession it’s more appropriate to count in hexadecimal numbers. Suddenly I’m about 31 again – which looks much nicer. Maybe from now on I should count my age in hexadecimal numbers; I’ll worry less, and people won’t feel they have to organize a big 50th birthday for me any time soon :)

Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday to me!

This year’s birthday turned out quite unusual – for all my travels, it was the first time I celebrated my birthday while on the road. There was only time for a small dinner before boarding, then I was back on the road again.

I think that’s all for now. Thank you everyone for all your birthday wishes!

We’re 17!

We have a tradition at KL where mid-July each year we throw a company birthday bash. Last Friday it was our 17th, leaving us just one more year before we become fully adult! So a youthful theme was what we were after this year – our final year of innocent adolescence…

…The organization of this year’s festivities however were truly adult in nature. Everything went smoothly and to plan. In fact every year these summer blowouts just get better and better. But I for the life of me can’t imagine how this year’s is going to be improved on. But I say that on every birthday. True to tradition once again the organizers went one better :).

Kaspersky Lab Birthday Party

Kaspersky Lab Birthday PartyI guess a sweater, jumper or sweatshirt on the singer just wouldn’t have been right :)

Kaspersky Lab Birthday Party

Read on: So what stuck in my mind most of all?…

KL: Sweet Sixteen!

Yep, we’ve reached the age of consent folks! No more little 15, just sweet 16 :).

As per tradition, we celebrated our birthday in style – for the 15th time (no typo – see the ‘P.S.’ below). KLers from all over the globe descended on a spot in the countryside to the north of Moscow last Friday – which thankfully was a beautiful sunny day (not like last year’s washout:).

kaspersky-lab-16-barthday-party1Another year, another beer

More: I’ll let the pix do the talking…